The Story Of Me

thestoryofme

Before I get started in this particular post I want to explain what will be happening after this first paragraph. We (my 12 y/o son and I) are conducting an experiment based on words and illustrations from my son’s personal handwritten journal. He has been writing in his journal for around 4 years now, prior to that it was used to color, doodle, and paste things inside. The eventual evolution to writing came involuntarily to him as he was looking for a non-verbal way to express himself and what he was feeling. Those of y’all visiting for the first time will need to know that my son is autistic and bipolar. The degree of each is hard to say because doctors won’t ever say, they only say he is still in the stages of development and all we can really do is watch and learn every day. As an observation, there are many days he looks as though he is in shear pain and others that he seems as happy as one can expect a 12 y/o boy to be. The following is taken from his journal.

“December 29, 2013

My dad asked me today if I would like to play him a few games of chess. Because I had paused before responding he looked at me like I didn’t want to play. When will we play should have been his question. It seems like such a long time between times that we do get to play. I know he is busy being everybody’s dad. I understand that he is not just my dad but I wish my dad was just my dad more times. When we are together I am not reminded by my sisters that I need to share because now I don’t have to share. I wonder what it will be like when sissy moves away after graduating school. I heard my mom say she would still live here while she was going to school for a few more years. That fact does not make me happy at all. Time to go play chess as I’m being summoned to the kitchen table.

I would think that after 9 years of playing chess I could learn how to beat my dad like I beat my friends so quickly. It sucks. I have never won playing him. He tells me it is for my own good that he does not let me win because it will give me false hope because I didn’t earn the win. I respect his feelings but sometimes I can see the win but he always takes it away from me. Todays score, dad 8, me 0. To top it all off 6 of them were checkmates under 12 moves. He really must think I am stupid. Sometimes when I make a mistake he looks at me with a stare that really hurts my feelings, that look makes me angry, I want to cry. I can’t cry, mom says big boys don’t cry when they get hurt but it still hurts. My dad frustrates me because I can’t figure out which tactic he is using until it is too late. He has been playing chess forever. One day I want to win just once. I don’t want to win because then he might not want to play chess with me any more. He is so good and I will never be that good and I just want to be that good, good enough to win every time. We have played so many games, thousands of games, so many losses, never a stalemate because it never gets to be that close. Enough.

I’m laying in bed once again unable to sleep. I don’t dare risk getting caught playing on my phone, watching the tv, messing with my tablet, or anything else. I cannot go to sleep because I want to talk to my dad about questions I have but can never remember. I don’t like this time of night, I really hate this time of night, its too dark even with my flashlight but I cant turn on my light. My dad told me he knows what I do when I cant sleep, he says he knows I’m reading, drawing, or writing. He doesn’t know what I’m writing because he has never asked me to read any of my thoughts. I want to turn the light on because I’m not scared but I don’t know what those noises are or what to expect. I told my dad that I hear sounds and voices sometime at night and he told me it is the wind. Can the wind say my name. Can the wind have a voice I don’t recognize. I put my head covered in the pillow and the sounds get louder, they get closer, and they get clearer. He said we have an appointment tomorrow with the therapist, not for anything like I said but because it has been two weeks and it’s time once again.

I don’t want to go to therapy because we talk about what she wants to talk about but not what I want to talk about. I want to yell at her. I want to scream at her because I want to hate her but she is nice to me and she makes me smile. The last time we went to see her she asked what I dream about at night when I am asleep. I feel bad because I made up a story that I saw on tv because I don’t want anyone to know I don’t dream too often and when I do it is too scary to talk about to anybody. I do not want to talk her about my dreams. Why has my dad never asked me about what I dream about. I think he knows that I don’t like my dreams because I heard him tell my mom once that he doesn’t dream either. I wonder what his dreams are about and if he gets scared. Does my dad even get scared I wonder. She will ask me again about sleeping and dreaming. I want to tell her other things. I want to ask her questions for once.

I only have one question for her. Why are the sounds in my head so loud so often and so quiet so little.”

I have read that passage a few times before I transcribed it here. It brings tears to my eyes each time. Much of this I knew already but there are some things that are new to me. I asked if he was sure he wanted to make this the test post and he told me it was the one. I’m really at a loss for words. I think it might be time to be shopping for a new therapist tho.

17 responses to “The Story Of Me

  1. Your son is very articulate. He states what is bothering him in as clear a way that is possible. Some of what was written brought a tear to my eyes. So if I may, I’d like to say this to your son.

    Keep writing, you write very well and sometimes people understand words written better than verbal. Verbal sometimes gets interrupted and misunderstood easily. With the written word there is no room for misunderstanding. It’s there, to be read slowly and read again and again if necessary. Maybe you should write your dad letters with your questions, so you can get them clear for him. Either way, writing words is a great way to communicate. Keep at it.

    I also agree it might be time to find a new therapist. One who asks questions about what your son really wants to talk about. Thanks for hearing me out.

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    • Jackie, I like your name, Jackie is my nickname forever since my whole name is Jackson. I was worried my dad was mad at me when he read this last night because he didn’t talk to me about it and now I understand why. I enjoy talking to my dad because we do talk all of the time. I do know that now I can tell him anything because he told me not to be afraid to talk to him. Thank you for liking the way I write because I think I write like a robot and nobody reads my journal but me, and now my dad, and now his internet friends too. By the way I talked to the therapist, alone, and she said she will start making time for topics I want to talk about. She is a nice person who I know is hard at work helping people just like me.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I was very worried that nobody would be interested. Thank you for understanding. J.B.

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      • Hello Jackson, nice to meet you. Your dad is a wise man Jackson, he wants you to do your best and I bet he enjoys talking to you. I’m glad you two talk all the time, that’s what dad’s are for. I always tried to talk to my dad all the time too. He never said much unless you asked him a question out right, but that’s how some dads are.
        I don’t always like the way I write either, but with lots of practice we get better at it. I thought you wrote very well. I’m glad you like your therapist. You should like a therapist other wise how are they to help? Right?
        Keep writing Jackson, you do it well and I enjoyed reading what you wrote. Have a wonderful day.

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  2. Can’t get more honest than that which comes from the mouths of our babes. Maybe his autism and bipolar will resolve themselves with writing, allowing himself to feel and express his emotions (instead of holding them in and not crying), and enjoying more dad time. Very touching.

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    • Kris, (my dad said to put that), Thank you for reading this page. It means a lot to me to know people will read any of it. Writing helps me think better than if I didn’t write it down. My dad’s experiment seems to be doing better than I thought. J.B.

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  3. That was an incredibly well written and heartfelt journal entry. And, Jackon, because I see you’re reading these comments, I want to add that I think it was very courageous of you to let your dad see your journal entry and publish it here.

    Well done and be well!

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    • Joel, my dad has been encouraging me to express myself on his blog for a long time. Now that I have done it I think I will be more comfortable doing more writing on the internet. Thank you for taking the time to read what I wrote. J.B.

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  4. Scorp, what your son wrote brought tears to my eyes too. Since I’m relatively new to your blog, I didn’t know your son was autistic and bipolar, thank you. One of my brothers is autistic, and my mother was bipolar, so I have an understanding about it. I’d like to address the next part to your son please.

    Hi Jackson. Thank you for letting your Dad share this with us. You are a very good writer. I wanted to let you know that I have a younger brother who is autistic too. He also likes to write. His name is George. He’s much older than you are, he’s an adult. George began writing in high school, just privately for himself, but he said writing down his thoughts really helped him to focus his ideas. After he writes, he feels better. Sometimes George would have a difficult time telling me what he wanted, and he really doesn’t like talking very much, but when it put his words down on paper and gave it to me, I understood and we then communicated very well. I hope you keep writing! You are good at it. Keep playing chess too and one day, you will beat your Dad. 🙂

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    • Madilyn, writing helps me think. I usually write things to my self because they become notes that I can go back to if I am feeling something that is the same sometimes. I like writing on my dad’s blog because it has been fun to have people write back to me. My dad seems to have some awesome friends from around the world and now I can see why he likes to write on his blog. This has been so much fun and I want to thank you for making time to read what I have written, it makes me feel very special. J.B.

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  5. Jackson, you express yourself so beautifully. I think that’s because your words so perfectly express what you’re truly feeling. Everything is coming straight from your heart. I love this kind of writing. Hope to read more in the near future.

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    • My dad has shown me many of your aphorisms that you write and you be real surprised at how many I truly agree with. With any luck I will be adding some more posts to my dad’s blog soon. We are still working on mine. I will try to keep up what I am doing but all I am doing is just putting my hard thoughts on paper go make them easier to understand myself. Thank you sir for reading. J.B.

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